Ripple Effect

Change the self and your inner world changes. And when your inner world changes, the outer world that you touch changes, little by little. And when the outer world that you touch changes, the world that it touches changes, and the world that it touches. Outward and outward and outward this spreads, like a ripple in a pond.

Neale Donald Walsch

Cat-Cow Exercise

Your low back and spine will really appreciate the nearly theraputic results of performing this exercise on a daily basis.

Start on all fours with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Slowly round your back up toward the ceiling (like a cat) while tucking your chin toward your tailbone. Then reverse the movement by arching your back (think about a cow) while lifting your hips and head.
That’s 1 rep. Do 8 to 10 reps total.

Cautionary note: This move may not be recommended if you have osteoporosis.

A Living Practice

We’ve all heard the addage ‘practice makes perfect’ and further itterations state that ‘practicing perfectly makes perfect’. In the realm of our health and fitness practices, these pithy sayings point us to the principle of enduring sustainability. So many times our personal approach to exercise and nutrition resembles a mish-mash of practicing or following the latest trends for exercise and diet programing. It’s no wonder we get lost and burned out trying to perfect our well-being when we chase after ever-change models of wellness. Is there a better way to ‘perfectly practice’ for the outcomes we desire in our health?

According to Terry Patten, author of The New Repbublic of the Heart, knowing what matters most to you and having the courage to pursue it is a good start, but it’s not enough. He posits that you must act on your choices, your values over and over again. He believes you’ve got to “make a practice” out of living.

He writes that life satisfaction is a byproduct of transitioning from being a seeker, or someone who wants a certain lifestyle, to a practitioner, or someone who lives that lifestyle day in and day out. “Practice,” Patten writes, “is about waking up again and again, and choosing to show up in life in alignment with one’s highest intelligence,” or what matters most.

So the question for ourselves today is: What practice am I perfecting? In regards to my health? In regards to my stated goals for improved fitness? Today, what choices am I making and what behaviors am I reinforcing? Are my actions supporting my values, my beliefs, my goals? Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. Patten writes, “A whole life of regular, ongoing practice is necessary. We are always reinforcing the neural circuits associated with what we are doing. Whatever way we are being, we’re more likely to be that way in the future. This means we are always practicing something.”

This knowledge behooves us to live our practice with actions that support the values we have identified as foundational to our well-being and well-living. How do we accomplish these value oriented goals over so many tomorrows? I think we can make it simple for ourselves, by simply making our practice the practice of living…authentically, thoughtfully, whole-heartedly.

Glute Bridge Exercise

Another beneficial strengthening exercise for the lower back and glutes.

Lie on your back with knees bent. Place your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart (heels should be a few inches away from your buttocks). Press your arms into the floor for support and brace your core to minimize the arch in your lower back.

From here, push through your heels and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. As you get stronger, focus on getting your shins as close to vertical as you comfortably can at the top of the movement. Pause, then slowly lower your hips to return to starting position. Do 8 to 10 reps total.

Lying Pelvic Tilt Exercise

A simple exercise which eases tight or sore low back muscles. Perform multiple times throughout the day as needed.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Flatten your lower back against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and tilting your pelvis up slightly. Hold your lower back to the floor for up to 10 seconds, then release. That’s 1 rep. Do 8 to 10 reps total.

I See You

by Ozan Varol

Sawubona is a standard Zulu greeting. But its meaning goes far deeper than your typical hello. Sawubona literally means “I see you.” It refers to seeing in a more meaningful sense than the simple act of sight. It means, “I see your personality. I see your humanity. I see your dignity.”

Sawubona says you’re not an object to me. You’re not a business card. You’re not a transaction. You’re not a title. You’re not just another person standing in line between me and my Starbucks macchiato.

You exist. You matter. You contain multitudes. You’re a memory to someone. You are a living, breathing, imperfect human being who has experienced joy and suffering, triumph and despair, and love and grief.

The traditional response to sawubona is ngikhona. It means “I am here,” but its meaning also goes deeper: “It tells the observer that you feel you have been seen and understood and that your personal dignity has been recognized.”

When we feel understood in this way—when we feel that the other person really gets us—we vibrate on each other’s frequency, instead of moving past each other.

This doesn’t require any grand gestures.

It means holding emotional space for a loved one with a simple, “I’m sorry. That’s awful,” instead of immediately jumping into problem-solving mode.

It means grieving for laid-off employees instead of blithely marching onward to the resolute beat of business as usual.

It means finding the human dimension in the products we create by looking at them from the perspective of those we serve, instead of getting lost in acronyms, processes, and PowerPoint decks.

It means remembering our common humanity even when we disagree.

It means choosing to see in a world that has stopped seeing.

Seeker’s Find

Matthew 6:7-8 (Amplified Bible) Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.